The work of Hossein Taherzadeh Behzad can be considered a turning point in Persian painting of the last century as his achievements helped to guide Persian painting to a new era. These achievements include fresh compositions, new themes, and a different style which is evident in the present work. In this work, Behzad surpassed conventional vertical composition of pioneers, which was consistent with bookbinding techniques, to replace it with a horizontal composition. In fact, this new composition emerged when Persian painting started to be seen outside books, as a separate form of art. This was a fundamental evolution that offered a new definition of painting, and Hossein Taherzadeh Behzad played a historic role in this process.
The broad range of the capabilities of Behzad, including portraiture, striking a balance in color proportions, brushstrokes, and the drawing of arabesque designs, is evident in this work. Furthermore, splendid carpet- like designs in the background accompanied by poetry written in the style of cursive calligraphy contribute to the aesthetic value of the work. Behzad has a moderate view of perspective, i.e. he would neither avoid it as earlier painters did nor completely adhere to it as if he was a Naturalist painter. He made use of a whole range of cold and hot colors, displaying his ability to exploit an entire palette with diverse colors. The application of various shades of color is another major dissimilarity of Behzad with his predecessors who preferred flat colors.
The present work, which was painted during his stay in Istanbul, depicts Hafiz at the court of Shoja Shah. While the Shah is on his throne, chained prisoners are lining up behind him and female musicians are playing in the foreground while Hafiz recites poetry.
Shoja Shah, the son of Amir Mobarezedin Mohammad Mozafari, ruled between 1339 and 1375 AD. Hafiz had good relations with him at the beginning of his rule, and both implicitly and explicitly praised him in various sonnets. Behzad employed calligraphy to inscribe one of the most famous of these sonnets in the margin of this work.